The Baja Ha-Ha 19 fleet awoke to clear blue skies this morning, ideal for the fleet’s southbound departure to the waters of Baja California. Having converged on San Diego from all along the West Coast — as far north as Alaska — roughly 450 Ha-Ha sailors turned out for the annual Pre-Halloween Costume Kickoff Party at West Marine yesterday afternoon.
As always, the range of costumes was wildy varied, with those dressed in the most elaborate disguises seeming to have the most fun. In addition to the usual contingent of pirates and wenches, there were knights in armor, Polynesian princesses, superheros, Viking warriors, and at least two human jellyfish. West Marine swashbucklers extraordinaire, Galen Piltz and Captain Ron, kept the crowd amused with goofy piratical antics, bad pirate jokes and, of course, the annual costume contest.
All who attended were served a bountiful ‘Mexican tune-up’ lunch, plus all the cool libations they cared to imbibe. Event sponsors from as far away as Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan were on hand to exhibit their wares and share their insights with these soon-to-be cruisers.
As announced on San Diego TV news earlier, the 135-boat fleet paraded past Harbor and Shelter Islands this morning at 10 a.m., while well-wishers cheered them on from shore, then continued out to the starting line, just outside the harbor.
With very light air predicted for the first two days, the rally will have a slow and mellow beginning, but night watches should be glorious with a brilliant full moon shining overhead.
Stay tuned for further reports as the fleet moves along the 750-mile course to Cabo San Lucas. And don’t miss our complete recap in the December edition of Latitude 38.